Enhancing diagnostic deep learning via self-supervised pretraining on large-scale, unlabeled non-medical images

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Background: Pretraining labeled datasets, like ImageNet, have become a technical standard in advanced medical image analysis. However, the emergence of self-supervised learning (SSL), which leverages unlabeled data to learn robust features, presents an opportunity to bypass the intensive labeling process. In this study, we explored if SSL for pretraining on non-medical images can be applied to chest radiographs and how it compares to supervised pretraining on non-medical images and on medical images. Methods: We utilized a vision transformer and initialized its weights based on the following: (i) SSL pretraining on non-medical images (DINOv2), (ii) supervised learning (SL) pretraining on non-medical images (ImageNet dataset), and (iii) SL pretraining on chest radiographs from the MIMIC-CXR database, the largest labeled public dataset of chest radiographs to date. We tested our approach on over 800,000 chest radiographs from 6 large global datasets, diagnosing more than 20 different imaging findings. Performance was quantified using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and evaluated for statistical significance using bootstrapping. Results: SSL pretraining on non-medical images not only outperformed ImageNet-based pretraining (p < 0.001 for all datasets) but, in certain cases, also exceeded SL on the MIMIC-CXR dataset. Our findings suggest that selecting the right pretraining strategy, especially with SSL, can be pivotal for improving diagnostic accuracy of artificial intelligence in medical imaging. Conclusions: By demonstrating the promise of SSL in chest radiograph analysis, we underline a transformative shift towards more efficient and accurate AI models in medical imaging. Relevance statement: Self-supervised learning highlights a paradigm shift towards the enhancement of AI-driven accuracy and efficiency in medical imaging. Given its promise, the broader application of self-supervised learning in medical imaging calls for deeper exploration, particularly in contexts where comprehensive annotated datasets are limited. Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.)


FachzeitschriftEuropean radiology experimental
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2024

Externe IDs

PubMed 38326501



  • Artificial intelligence, Deep learning, Medical image processing, Radiography (thoracic), Unsupervised machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Databases, Factual